All Things Dog

Vacations And Your Dog

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It’s certainly not fair to leave a dog alone in the house for long periods. Sometimes you’ll be lucky enough to have a friend or neighbor who’ll offer to look after him while you’re away. But despite their best intentions, your friends may not be able to continue to look after your dog if their circumstances change. For most dog owners, it’s necessary to board their dogs at a kennel. Most dogs will adapt well to this situation, especially if they’ve been used to it from a relatively early age.

Read on for some tips on boarding your dog.

Boarding your dog

  • All boarding establishments should be inspected and licensed by your local authority; if you’re not sure about this, ask to see the current license.

  • Ask friends and other dog owners if they can recommend a kennel in your area. If possible, visit the premises before booking your dog in, and check that the accommodation is clean, dry and hygienic.

  • There should be good facilities for exercise, and any exercise runs should have a concrete rather than grass surface so they can be easily disinfected.

  • Check that all the kennels, cages and gates are secure and in good repair. Ideally, there should be double doors in the buildings to prevent any opportunities for escape.

  • Most kennels require that boarders be fully vaccinated against the common diseases, and they’ll ask to see your dog’s current vaccination certificate. If they don’t have this requirement, you could be putting your pet at risk from the other animals.

  • Once you have chosen a suitable boarding kennel, you should book your pet in well before your departure date, as summers and long weekends can be exceptionally busy. Make sure all vaccinations are up to date, and don’t forget that some vaccinations may take a week to 14 days to become effective. Always ask your veterinarian for advice.

  • Let the kennels know if your dog is on medication or a special diet. Most kennel owners will be happy to continue any prescribed treatments. Leave the address and telephone number of your own vet, and find out what arrangements the kennels have made for emergency treatment.

  • Most dogs adapt well to boarding, especially if they’re first introduced to it at a relatively early age. But get your dog used to staying in a kennel for weekends before you leave him there for a two-week period.

  • You can make your dog’s stay in a kennel a little more comforting by leaving him with something familiar such as toys or bedding. Make sure these are easily identified as yours, though, so they don’t get lost during the stay.
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